US appeals court allows Texas to enforce abortion ban during coronavirus pandemic
TEXAS, March 31, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Abortion will continue to be suspended in Texas as part of the state’s emergency response to the coronavirus pandemic after the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily stayed a federal judge’s injunction against the Governor’s order that postponed any unnecessary medical procedures, including abortion.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed for immediate appellate review in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to enforce Governor Abbott’s March 21 Executive Order that postponed any unnecessary medical procedures, including abortion, to preserve medical supplies for the health professionals combating the spread of the coronavirus.
Federal judge Lee Yeakel had ruled, however, that the abortion industry must be allowed to continue business as usual in Texas.
“The benefits of a limited potential reduction in the use of some personal protective equipment by abortion providers is outweighed by the harm of eliminating abortion access in the midst of a pandemic that increases the risks of continuing an unwanted pregnancy, as well as the risks of travelling to other states in search of time-sensitive medical care,” claimed Yeakel, who presides over the Western District of Texas.
Paxton said in a press release today, however, that the Governor’s Executive Order applies to all health care facilities and professionals in Texas to ensure that hospitals and their staff have access to as much personal protective equipment and hospital beds as possible during the crisis. He pointed out that abortion facilities want special treatment not available to any other health care provider in Texas.
“Abortion providers who refuse to follow state law are demonstrating a clear disregard for Texans suffering from this medical crisis,” he said.
“For years, abortion has been touted as a ‘choice’ by the same groups now attempting to claim that it is an essential procedure,” Paxton added.
“All Texans must work together to stop the spread of COVID-19. My office will continue to defend Governor Greg Abbott’s Order to ensure that supplies and personal protective gear reach the hardworking medical professionals who need it the most during this health crisis,” he said.
Pro-life medical professionals have assailed the abortion industry’s demands for special treatment, arguing that exempting elective abortion puts business interests ahead of public health.
The American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) says that while “elective abortion is neither ‘essential’ nor ‘urgent,’” it “does consume critical resources such as masks, gloves, and other personal protective equipment, and unnecessarily exposes patients and physicians to pathogens.”
“Elective abortion, both surgical and drug induced, also generates more patients to be seen in already overburdened emergency rooms,” AAPLOG continued. “Most abortion providers instruct women to go to an emergency room if they have any concerning symptoms after the abortion. Approximately five percent of women who undergo medication abortions will require evaluation in an emergency room, most commonly for hemorrhage. Surgical abortions can also result in hemorrhage. Emergency room personnel – who are already struggling to meet the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic – will be further strained to provide care to these women.”
With files from LifeSiteNews’ Calvin Freiburger